Friday, July 5, 2013

Breathing into my what?

As previously mentioned three days a week I drive to Eagle River to teach a vinyasa style class at the local Body Renew gym. I have great students who are lively and outspoken regarding their feelings about yoga. Today as I prepared to leave, two students were laughing about a previous instructor and some of the long and odd breathing practices she made them do. When I joined the conversation, we laughed a little more about certain phrases and the cliches of certain yoga experiences. Honestly, I get what they are saying at the same time having a deep appreciation for some of seemingly more arcane sides of yoga. For me, there is a powerful message for my practice as a teacher.  My classes are about the students and the needs they bring. I have to read where they are and adjust  for the class to flow and be successful. Most students come for a different experience of fitness. Flexibility, balance and some inner necessity drawing them towards an indescribable aspect of health are just some of the reasons. Rarely in the gym environment are students seeking the mystical. This doesn't diminish the experience. I would argue it actually makes it even more available for many people to come and enter the joy of a yoga practice. A class free of Bhakti like yoga aspects opens the door so that people can find it through the body without having their mind or personal beliefs get stuck. Save the advanced breathing techniques and pseudo Indian philosophies for other times. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Knowing my why!

Recently somebody asked me why I teach yoga. That why question keeps coming up for me. Perhaps, it's because I just finished reading Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why. Maybe, the question is just in my head now, and I am suddenly aware of it's tantalizing pull. What is my why behind yoga?  I could go into long pontifications about this curious question. Instead, I shall follow the advice of a beloved mentor and keep it simple. For me, yoga incorporates many of the things that have interested me since early on. Beauty, philosophical inquiry, alternative health, spiritual longing, fitness and let me me not forget creativity nor the essence of play. Yoga takes all these and rolls them together into a practice of mind, body and spirit. This practice both challenges and invigorates, all the while fueling an inner curiosity to see what more shall be offered.  For me this is like the journey of life. Yes, yoga is the metaphor for this earthly existence  that meets me for who I am and who I might become. Namaste!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Eagle River Yoga

Three times a week I make the pretty drive out to Eagle River and instruct a yoga class at Body Renew.  What a wonderful experience this has been!  Even though, Eagle River is so close to Anchorage but that site has had a hard time holding on to a regular instructor.  The students are dedicated and bring with them openness and plenty of experience.  Our yoga room may leave some things to desired, but we have great classes.  This demonstrates how yoga is beyond settings and more about intention.  Thank you to all my students at Eagle River Body Renew!